Former Police Commissioner Hamm discusses being fired, and Desousa replacing Davis
BALTIMORE, Md. (WBFF) -- To some observers, it appears there’s a revolving door at Baltimore City Police Headquarters for the city’s top cop position.
After hearing Mayor Catherine Pugh has fired Kevin Davis, a former commissioner is giving an inside look at what it feels like to be let go.
Leonard Hamm admitted he never really liked talking to reporters, but when he spoke he did it with blunt professionalism. Friday afternoon, he talked openly about loosing his top cop job.
“Well, I can definitely speak to that cause I got fired,” said Hamm. The former commissioner said it hurt.
"But that hurt lasted, in my case, maybe 90 seconds," said Hamm. "The moment I got fired, things changed, things switched because, being a citizen of Baltimore, then I became the mayor's boss,” he added.
Hamm became commissioner in 2004. Former Mayor Sheila Dixon fired him in 2007. "There were some philosophical differences we had," said Hamm.
But with history showing Baltimore police commissioners lasting on the job with an average of just under three years, why would anyone want to be the city’s top cop?
"I did it because I actually care about Baltimore City, about the citizens of Baltimore City," said Hamm. "I never cared about the money and anyone who comes in this profession for money, they're not going to succeed," he said.
Hamm said he also believes he knows what it will take for Darryl DeSousa, the new commissioner, to be successful.
"Build your team, surround yourself with people who are good people, who are going to tell you the truth," Hamm directed to DeSousa. "And in the final analysis, when you talk about whether you were successful or not, the only thing that you can look at, is did I leave it better than I found it," he added.
Hamm spent 40 years in law enforcement, including 24 with BPD. He’s now Director of Public Safety for Coppin State University in west Baltimore.